Sadly, manzai (two-man stand-up) legend Kimi Koishi passed away this week at age 83. This morning Somemaru left early for the funeral service. Unfortunately I don’t have a black suit and tie, so I stayed home to take care of the cleaning, etc.
Living National Treasure/ hanashika Katsura Beichô, who knew Koishi for many years, issued the following statement on January 23:
Itokoi [nickname of duo] certainly had a refined style of manzai. They never used gaudy langauge. They were the epitomy of elegance. I wonder if there are any manzai artists around today who could ever take their place. He [Koishi] was two years younger than me, but he had a longer performance history. He knew so much about the entertainment world of yesteryear. Nobody could stop him if he got to talking about the good ol’ days. Even quite recently I spoke with him for hours in a dressing room at a TV station. I’m truly saddened by his death. (link in Japanese)
Somemaru made the following comments on his blog:
Master Kimi Koishi’s funeral service was held today. The memorial photograph was of him wearing a hat, cigarette in hand. He sure looked sharp. The assembly hall was packed with people lamenting his passing. Words like these might seem inadequate, but I think they suit this man, an entertainer among entertainers, perfectly. I appeared with him on NHK’s “Kamigata Variety Hall,” which appears to have been his very last job. He was always a sweet man who was so kind to put up on a pedestal a person such as myself. I am saddened by his passing and pray that his soul may rest in peace. Gasshô [palms together in prayer].